“A goal is a personal promise to your future self” – PhraseD LLC
Everything seemed so attainable at the beginning. You felt like Wonder Woman – ready to crush and accomplish every goal within the shortest possible timelines. You were so excited that a better, healthier, and happier version of you was on her way. You had downloaded the necessary apps; to drink 8 glasses, to get enough sleep, to eat right, to exercise, to stay organized but life got in the way once again, didn’t it?
Given the year we just had, living in the COVID-19 environment, it’s understandable why you may have shelved your wellness goals. Most of us have been busy as frontline workers, taking care of our families and overall trying to survive the virus. Somewhere amid all the fatigue and stress incurred, we may have forgotten to tend to ourselves – which is necessary. Now more than ever is the right time to get back on track because your health is depending on it.
Why is setting goals important?
Goals bridge the gap between the life you have now and the one you know you deserve if only you put in the work. It’s easy to get stuck in the idea stage because you don’t have the map to get to the other side where you are everything you dream to be – that’s where goal setting comes in and it matters because;
- Your intentions become clear which gives you clarity of purpose. You no longer go with the flow or live aimlessly because your vision is clear from the onset which minimizes distractions and keeps you focused.
- You become more grounded, disciplined, and accountable to yourself. You know where and when you’re falling short and how much more you can do to make up for it. You become your friend; always encouraging you to keep moving.
- You start living a purposeful life. One that fulfills you and makes you happy because goal setting gives you drive and motivation to keep working towards your aim. It gives you a reason strong enough to get out of bed in the morning and get you working on yourself even when you don’t feel like it.
Mistakes you need to avoid when setting goals
We are all works in progress but you can limit the following shortcomings;
- Being unrealistic. If you plan to lose 10pounds, there are chances that it won’t happen in the first two weeks of you joining the gym.
- Having too many goals. You want to accomplish every small and big goal which ends up overwhelming you – which results in you not pursuing any of them.
- Underestimating yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. Thinking too small and limiting yourself to the confines of only what you know.
- Generalizing everything. Lack of specificity and context – how, why, where, what time and how much it will cost you.
- Being dishonest about what you want. You’re too modest about how much you want to achieve even as you talk about it to others because you don’t want it to come off as you being too ambitious.
Step by Step guide to you achieving your goals
“Setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into visible.” Tony Robbins
Goal setting is easy in theory just as daydreaming is. The hard part is implementation. However, you need to know that success is not for the chosen few. You have it in you to do everything you set out to do. The secret lies in how STRATEGIC you are with setting your goals – a practical guide on HOW you can get to WHERE you want to be.
1. Shift your mindset. Everything begins in your mind and you’d be surprised at how limiting it can be. If you don’t believe that anything is possible for you then goal setting will be wasting your time. It’s your mind that will push you to stretch yourself beyond what you think your body can do. If health and fitness goals seem like a burden to you then you won’t achieve them. Renew your mind to see your goals as a form of self-love and self-care and not things you need to cross off your to-do list. Start thinking about the benefits of investing in wellness and build upon that.
2. Clearly define your vision and write it down. Don’t be general with your goals….” I want to healthy and happy” …. What does that look like for you? Paint a clear picture in your head then write it down; do yoga once a week, run 5 miles every day, walk 10,000steps per day, eat vegetables 3 times a week, lose 30 pounds. Use the SMART method. Your goals should be;
- Specific – WHAT do you want to achieve precisely?
- Measurable – HOW will you know when you achieve your goals?
- Achievable – Is it possible to meet your goals with effort within your timeline?
- Rewarding – Are your goals worth working towards?
- Timely – What is your deadline to meet your goals?
3. Set some core values. Your values are the compass you need because they influence your belief system – how likely you are to achieve your goals. They are your guiding principles and the foundation upon which you do everything. Keep it simple. A maximum of three e.g. Intentionality, Discipline, and Commitment.
4. Check your environment. Your environment either breaks or makes your habits. You can’t grow in an environment that enables you to live an unhealthy lifestyle. If you’re trying to cut off sugar and the house is full of candy – it undermines your goal. But it’s not also easy to just change your environment which calls for discipline on your part. You can let people around you know that you have goals you want to achieve and you’d like their collaboration to help you achieve them so they can put you in consideration and encourage you. Communicate and keep yourself accountable – eye on the prize.
5. Just start. Now is the time to start this journey. Yes, now when you don’t have everything figured out. The timing will never be perfect so it’s better to just start; you’ll refine your process along the way. Health and happiness are not a destination but a journey. One you have to keep at even when it gets hard and all you need to do is take the first step.
“Mindset, habits, and routines are the building blocks for success towards your wellness goals.” – Robyn Conely Downs